How Aysen Unlu Secured a Full-Time Job During COVID-19 — With a Client She Worked for During the Coding Boot Camp

Aysen Unlu’s instructor at The Coding Boot Camp at UCLA Extension encouraged students to find real clients for class projects. Despite having limited coding skills, Aysen and her peers managed to find a client for their very first one. CDS Visual, a digital solutions company, recruited Aysen’s group to design the UI for a new project management website. 

“In the end, we met all their requirements and they were happy with the work we did,” said Aysen. 

In fact, CDS Visual was extremely happy with the work they did. A few months after graduating, one of Aysen’s teammate received a job offer from CDS Visual — and the teammate helped Aysen get her foot in the door, too. Now, she works there as a data and software engineer. How’d she do it? Here are a few ways she prepared for the job market. 

Seeking out new skills 

Aysen has a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and a master’s in computer science, but after taking a hiatus from the field to raise her children, she needed to brush up her skills. She began Java classes at UCLA and, afterward, decided to join the boot camp. 

“After being MIA from the field for some time, everything changes,” she said. “The boot camp helped me catch up with new technologies and it helped me to make connections.” 

Among the skills Aysen acquired at the boot camp were React, Python, and Flask (a Python framework). Although these technical skills were crucial in re-joining the field, the best lesson Aysen graduated with was something more abstract: learning “how to learn.” The boot camp taught her innovative ways to tackle problems, helping her approach new languages and obstacles at her current job with ease. 

“The boot camp gave us resilience,” said Aysen. “You can’t get frustrated when you encounter problems. You have to break down the problem into small parts.” 

Reaching out to career services 

Aysen’s instructors helped prepare her for her current role, just as career services did for the job search process. In particular, career services helped her refine her resume and update her online profile. 

“They helped us to become employer ready,” said Aysen. “Career services were very helpful in making my profile stand out and they were very responsive. I’m really very thankful for them.” 

Her work with career services paid off when she officially landed the role at CDS Visual, which provides companies with visualization and augmented reality to enhance customers’ digital experience. A component of that is making online catalogs and configurators that Aysen updates regularly. 

Get to know Aysen a little better with 5 quick questions:

Mac or PC? 

Mac.

Music or podcasts? 

Music.

Front end or back end?

I’d say both. Full stack!

Early mornings or late nights?

Early mornings.

Board games or video games?

Board games. Ironically, I have never been a fan of video games!

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